I bought of these ingredients in May and promptly lost any interest in food and cooking. Last October I made a copycat version of Kind Bars’ Strong BBQ Protein bar which I loved. Finally someone was making protein bars that weren’t dessert flavored. Don’t get me wrong I have a full time sweet tooth but I try to keep it at bay. One of the best strategies I’ve found to do this is to eat fewer sweetened items. This has dramatically changed my tastes over the years. I still crave sweets but they just cannot be too sweet.
After last Fall I tried all the other Strong Bars I could find, finally settling on the Thai Sweet Chili as my favorite. I haven’t seen it since this Spring and according to their website no one else has either. Sadness. I know I know “Sweet” is in the title and yeah there’s totally sugar and honey in the recipe but trust me, it is no where near as sweet tasting as some others on the market. I have found these bars are perfect for when I have somehow not packed enough food or am about to have a full on toddler-esque meltdown in the grocery store because “Holy Shit, I needed to be asleep 10 minutes ago”. Fatigue, you slay me.
This recipe will use practically your entire spice rack. The original ingredients use some items I don’t like/have access to so I made some adjustments. For example, I don’t like coriander so I used cumin. I don’t have pea crisps, sunflower lecithin, or tomato powder so those don’t make the cut. I was worried this batch would be sticky like my first attempt so I added some cornstarch in hopes it would soak up some of the stick factor. Tomato powder and jalapeño chili were subbed with Tom Tom Sauce since it has chilis but no tomatoes. Here’s the issue it has been so long since I’ve had this I cannot recall the actual taste! But I do like these which furthers the copycat status, lol.
- ½ cup pepita
- ½ cup almonds
- 2 TBS honey
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp sugar
- ⅛ tsp ginger
- ⅛ tsp red pepper
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- ⅛ tsp cumin
- ⅛ tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp onion powder
- ⅛ tsp garlic powder
- ⅛ tsp chili sauce
- 2 basil leaves chiffonade
- ¼ cup hemp seeds
- ½ tsp cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 350F and prepare a cookie sheet and an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper.
- Toast the pepitas and almonds on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile in a medium saucepan over low heat mix the honey, salt, sugar, ginger, red pepper, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, onion powder, garlic powder, chili sauce, and basil. Stir to combine.
- Add the pepitas, almonds, hemp seeds, and cornstarch to the sauce pan. Mix well.
- Pour mixture into prepared baking dish, flatten with spatula and freeze to set.